Poor/Smart Man’s Geothermal

Another interesting feature that we are incorporating into our home is a home-made geothermal system.  I’ve heard it called the “poor man’s geothermal” and the “smart man’s geothermal”.  Let me do my best to explain this… what we are doing is installing a 5ooft loop of poly tubing that will be in a trench that is 6ft deep.  The tubing will be filled with glycol and will extract heat from the ground.  The glycol will circulate through the tubing into a radiator core that will transfer the heat from the glycol to the cold air that is entering the heat recovery ventilator (pre-heating the air).  This will serve two purposes.  Firstly, it will prevent the HRV from freezing up in extreme temperatures and secondly, it will decrease the temperature gradient between the air coming in from the outside and in from the exhaust air (from the house) to help make the HRV more efficient.

Phew, I hope that makes sense!!

So… here’s the trench…

2014-10-08 17.33.22

Looking towards the back of the house. The trench is approximately 4ft wide and 6ft deep.

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2 Responses to Poor/Smart Man’s Geothermal

  1. ET says:

    This is interesting. I wonder if it could be installed in a sewer trench and/or a utility trench during construction.

  2. Pingback: Reaping the Energy Rewards of Passivhaus Design

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